1 | 2 |
traditional societies strain under the weight of the new global
economy, artists too often find that their creativity is marginalized.
Photography by Amanda Friedman
November, Judy Mitoma '70, M.A. '75, director of the Center
for Intercultural Performance in the Department of World Arts and
Cultures, took part in a White House Conference on Culture and Diplomacy.
The conference, convened by President Clinton, Hillary Clinton and
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, brought together diplomats,
artists, scholars and representatives from the private and nonprofit
sectors to talk about the critical role of culture in the formulation
and conduct of foreign policy in this era of globalization.
the panelists were His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary
Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims; Nigerian writer and Nobel
Laureate Wole Soyinka; Italian Minister of Culture Giovanna Melandri;
former Fulbright scholar and Poet Laureate Rita Dove; world-renowned
cellist Yo-Yo Ma; and Joan Spero, president of the Doris Duke Foundation
and a former State Department official. Professor Mitoma spoke with
Carolyn Campbell, director of communications in the School of the
Arts and Architecture.
What are the most pressing problems facing artists worldwide?
Traditional cultures around the world are in a state of crisis.
Artists find themselves under enormous economic and political pressure.
Part of this can be explained by political instability or the shift
from government sponsorship to a market economy. So many highly
trained artists, writers and philosophers find that their work falls
outside these global economies. They get little support and recognition.
In their search for work, regrettably, many turn to the tourist
industry. Viewed as symbols of culture, their work is often presented
as decorative and entertaining diversions. Most threatening of all,
new generations see no viable future in working in the arts or preserving
their cultural heritage. The libraries are on fire; more people
need to notice.